Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Little of This and A Little of That

Today I went for a run through our new neighborhood today. The trees are changing colors (trees!) and I actually crunched leaves on the sidewalk as I ran. I loved it! The fact that I can put on my running shoes anytime and just run a few blocks makes all the difference. I have about 20 pounds to drop and while I can't do it by the end of the year, I think I can do it by my birthday next year. Just having the freedom to get some fresh air and run whenever I need to is a great thought!

So we moved, yep. Did I mention that before? We are in an area not too far from where we were living, but the atmosphere is totally different. The weather is more extreme, too. But I love it. I feel like I needed a change, a big change, and it actually happened for once. Good for me.

I'm still looking for a book to read, something to grab my imagination and not let go. Still searching. I've tried a few samples on my Kindle, but nothing outstanding. The search continues. I like it better when someone else suggests the book and reads with me. I have more of an open mind and stronger resolve to read, especially when it's a book I wouldn't normally choose for myself. Boo.

Knitting is still breathing for me. I have so many projects going. My main goal right now is to finish the white skein on the busy blanket I'm making so I can start the next color. The blanket is my own personal project and I'm using only coffee colors. White is milk. :) The next color is caramel. I think I might start adding a green stripe or two between colors, for Starbucks, you know.

I see the end of the year approaching and my mind is turning over themes for next year, goals and things to achieve. One area is definitely facing my fears. I'm so tired of being afraid of things. First up is going to be my fear of the Tower of Terror. Sounds dumb, I know, but that ride scares the hell out of me on so many levels! Elevators, heights, free falling, just to name a few. So 2012 will be the Year of Facing Fears.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Scary movies got nothing on losing one of your children in a park while it's dark.

Last night was Princess O's last volleytennis game. (we lost) We were the visitors at a park we don't usually go to because the kids who frequent it are older and the profanity is flying. The playground is situated directly behind the stands that are next to the court where the game was being played. Daylight savings kicked me in the ass again because it was already dark before the game was over.

DH let the boys play on the playground, which made me very nervous as it got darker. This playground has no lights around it. None. The boys were playing in the dark with some other kids, a couple of them older. I didn't feel good about it, anyway, so I kept turning around in my seat to see how they were doing. Everything was going okay. The game was getting good. I didn't check on them for a few minutes.

Professor X came over to the stands to ask DH something and I turned to see where Mr. M was. I couldn't see him. I told DH and he asked the professor, "where's you brother?" at which point the professor pointed at the playground and then froze. We all stared for a few seconds waiting for Mr. M to appear, but he didn't.

DH and the professor walked (walked!) to the playground. I thought maybe Mr. M was hiding. He's done that a couple times, although we told him to stop. I saw DH start walking faster. He grabbed Professor X by the shoulders and said something to him. Then he started calling Mr. M's name.

That was it for me. I flew off the stands and began searching. We're all calling his name. DH is running toward the street looking at cars. Professor X is searching the playground. I'm frozen, just calling his name over and over, in disbelief this is real.

Then he appeared from behind me. I grabbed him by his arms and told him, "Don't you EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER do that again!!!) I was crying. Mr. M started crying. Professor X ran over to us and was crying. DH ran over and was visibly shaken. Apparently Mr. M was thirsty and decided to walk to the water fountain which is on the opposite side of the court, totally away from where he was supposed to stay. He says he asked the professor to go with him, but X was playing and refused. (The professor refuted this hotly, but who knows)

Has that ever happened to you? Oh my God. My legs were shaking. My hands were shaking. If we weren't at a game with so many people, I would have been bawling like a baby. He was gone for long enough that my imagination kicked in and started the story of never seeing Mr. M again, something horrible happening to him, or just never knowing where he disappeared to. Ugly, ugly feelings.

I didn't let him leave my side after that, and he didn't want to. He realized how badly he scared us all. Even DH was past being angry and just thankful to see him. Such a scary, horrific few minutes. I know I will never forget this. I know that one day Mr. M will have kids and I will tell them this story. Mr. M will experience something similar and remember that night at the park. These few minutes will remain burned into our memories forever.

Thank God there was a happy ending.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I still can't get y internal clock going. Although, in my defense, the calendar backs me up.

I showed up 30 minutes early for my homeschool overseer meeting yesterday and totally interrupted a meeting in progress. My ES (yes, the same lady who is the kids' teacher and had them an hour early the day before) frowned at me and said she thought our meeting was for 9am.

I felt my face blush deeply and a line of sweat broke out on my upper lip. I'm usually so punctual! Never this early! What was going on with me that I can't get my shit together??!! I told her I thought the email said 8:30am, but, of course, when I checked it, there was no time given at all. Dang it!

She was gracious about it and even laughed about it, a little, a very little. The meeting went well and thankfully she didn't ask me for the paperwork that I didn't complete. (A PE log of the kids' physical activity. Sounds easy enough, but it's a real pain in the ass to keep track of all that, and meet the standards, and show learning. See? Not easy.) We finished on good terms and went home.

Upon my arrival at home, the very first thing I did was look at my calendar. Aha! 8:30am meeting time! And I know I wrote that when she was at my house, so it was a verbal agreement that she didn't remember. Ah. I felt so much better. But, still, I can't believe how badly I've messed up my timing the past couple days. Totally unlike me. I blame daylight savings.

Did I mention I also screwed up the yard sale date and cause Gram some unnecessary stress? Yep, I did that, too. Dang.

So looking ahead to the rest of the week, it's got to be better. I am totally organized as far as homeschooling goes. I've cleared out a lot of my junk for the move. I sold the table and chairs yesterday, boo-yah! And I ate some fruit and got up early three days in a row. Yay me!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

So I blew it. I didn't blog for a couple days during NaBloPoMo. The goal carries over to next year! One of these Novembers I will blog every stinkin' day and be so glad I can finally cross that off the bucket list.

The push for the big move continues. I look around this house and I feel so overwhelmed. Then I remind myself that most people move everything in one day. Really? So it can be done. This great move can be accomplished. I have the rest of the month! A whole week off for Thanksgiving! It can be done! I'm just doing it slowly.

Yesterday I was in the Twilight Zone, no, not with Jacob and that other guy. I was using a clock that had not been changed for daylight savings. Doh! I left the new house an hour early and got stuck in hideous traffic that makes sense now, but at the time I was baffled. I dropped the kids off at their class an hour early. I even got out and talked to the teacher, and she never said a word to me about being so early! Maybe she didn't realize. I'm a very punctual person so I guess some people could gauge the time by my arrival, but dang. Not after yesterday. I went to the laundromat an hour early and it was crowded. What?! Everyone cleared out an hour later, but by then I was drying. I then went to pick the kids up from their class an hour early. By this time, though, I had noticed that my iPhone was giving me the wrong time. It was an hour behind! How could that be?

I had many scenarios to explain this. Apple was playing a joke on all iPhone users. Something was wrong with my phone. There is a way you have to manually choose daylight savings time, not everyone goes by it. See? Instead of thinking I was wrong, there had to be another explanation! I couldn't be wrong. Nah. I even asked my DH what time his iPhone showed. He replied with the time an hour off like mine was!

"Why is the phone showing that time?" I asked. "It's an hour off."
"What are you talking about?" DH replied. "The phones change automatically. That's the right time."
I blink. Blink again. Blink some more. Check the clock in the van, which no one had changed and I KNEW no one had changed, but I had been using it all day! It was an hour off the actual time. I mentally replayed my day and realized I had dropped the kids off an hour early. Dang it!

So, you would think the teacher would say something to me, like, "Hey, I'm not your babysitter!" but she never said a word! The kids told me she let them play the Wii for an hour before class. That was nice. At least they didn't have to write an essay about how to tell time and the origins of daylight savings.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Gift of Instant Sleep

This is Mr. M in the van on the way home from somewhere recently. I can't remember where we had been, but I turned and saw him asleep, still holding his cheeseburger no less, and I had to get a picture. This kid just knocks out! Anytime we're driving, in our car or someone else's, doesn't matter, if we're on the road for more than 15 minutes, Mr. M falls asleep. But it's not just a dozing sleep. I'll turn around and see him totally slumped over to the side, head hanging forward, completely out. It amazes me. He has the gift, the gift of instant sleep, any time, any circumstance, he falls asleep. He used to fall asleep while he was playing, with toys in his hands! We would find him sprawled out on the floor somewhere and just chuckle and put him in his bed. Neither of the other kids ever did that! I think it's genetic. My dad was always uptight and had trouble sleeping, so do I. DH on the other hand falls asleep anytime he is horizontal or his eyelids close for longer than 10 seconds.

DH has this gift of instant sleep, where he can close his eyes for mere moments and the next thing I know, he's snoring. Moments! Seconds! And he's asleep! Obviously he has passed this ability onto our son, sort of like a superpower. Can all men do this? I know my BIL is infamous for falling asleep during other people's houses...sometimes people he's only just met! I will say this, though, my DH works crazy early hours. If he goes in at 5am that is late. My BIL is a doctor, at a family practice clinic, but still mentally wearing. Maybe this ability is good for them, just shutting down. It's automatic. I don't know.

I sure wish I could do it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NaBloPoMo - Day 2

I'm really going for it this year. Usually I'm out of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) by day 2, but not this year! I've doubled my commitment and made it another day over my previous record. Yay me!

A couple recent events have been weighing on me and now I am finally going to blog them since I just now got the pictures off my phone. Yay me! I'm being so productive today already. (did I mention I've taken a shower, too? See what getting up early can do?)

The Yarn Harlot is one of my favorite people. She has a wicked sense of humor that I love and I read her blog faithfully. She is a knitter of the best sort, a realistic one. Her knitting drama is entertaining and absorbing, how else do you captivate your readers with a yarn about burning a sweater and then surgically repairing it? It was a tense few days on the blog with that one! Anyway, she was on tour and I was lucky enough to be able to attend her book signing in Pasadena (which I didn't realize was so far or I might not have gone). My knitting friend from the homeschool PE class and  I went together and it was great.

Here is the view from where we were sitting at the back of the bookstore. So many knitters, who knew? Not the bookstore! They were clearly overwhelmed and the books sold out.
The head has been removed to protect the identity of the knitter. This knitter had low-rise jeans on. This knitter's shirt had ridden halfway up her back. That's right, full view of her butt crack! At first, when the chairs behind this knitter became available, my friend and I thought we got very lucky. Then we sat down. For a few minutes we tried to have normal conversation. I was trying to be nonchalant about it, not sure if my friend would think it as hilarious as I thought. Finally, though, my friend started laughing and said, "I'm sorry, but  I'm just going to stare at you so I don't look at that!" We were both rolling! A great moment. Definitely one I will never forget. You know how butt cracks are, we couldn't look away! Why is that? I don't want to look at a knitter's butt crack! But there it was, looking at me. What should we have done? We discussed telling her, but decided not to.  I don't know why. Wouldn't you want to know? I would. But we didn't tell her. Eventually she pulled her shirt down, which helped a little, but what she really needed to do was change her jeans. I'm pretty sure her friend sitting next to her knew what had happened. She didn't tell her either! And now this knitter lives in infamy in my memory, her and her glaring butt crack. 
And here I am with the Yarn Harlot! We were some of the very last knitters to get books signed, but Stephanie was so friendly and funny in spite of having to be exhausted and sick of smiling. I think we look like we could be related. Right? Next time I'll bring a sock.

One dream I have always had, living in Southern California, is to have annual passes to Disneyland. My dream finally came true because the older kids had a homeschool class there and I "had" to go, and Mr. M "had" to go, so we got passes. Yay! Then I convinced DH to join us after work, and he got a pass, too. We've already had one date to California Adventure, but that's another blog.

So here are Professor X and Princess O participating in the homeschool science class. Princess O came away totally inspired and now has added Imagineer to her career list. She has big ideas for a Tinkerbell ride. Mr. M and I went on some rides while we waited for them. We spent a great day together and I'm so excited that we have passes now! It was a great family day.
Waiting to get on Star Tours, an awesome ride!
Princess O couldn't keep up the banter with Cinderella's wicked stepmother. This lady was mean and rude and we loved it. (The villains were out since it was almost Halloween)

And now it's Christmas and I can't wait to go back and see the parade and all the beautiful decorations!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy November! Let the countdown to Christmas begin.

Halloween was kind of fun in our house this year. We let the kids dress up because the celebration we were going to actually encouraged costumes, which is sort of the point, right? The kids have been talking for the past couple weeks about being Jack Sparrow and Capt. America, but when it came time to buy the costumes, the money wasn't there. Costumes today are so expensive and elaborate! 

When I was growing up, I made my own costumes every year. Only when I was five and my parents were not yet divorced do I remember getting one of the cool costumes, the plastic tie-on "clothes" with the plastic mask that had slits for eyes and a small hole for the mouth. I think I was Strawberry Shortcake. Every year after that, I made my own costume out of things around the house. For instance, I borrowed my stepmother's dress and an old wig we had, put on lots of make-up and big earrings and went as a gypsy. Another year I used some poster board and markers and went as a vending machine. (that one got a lot of comments, like, what made you think of that??? I thought it was super cool.) So, why couldn't my kids use their own terrific imaginations and figure out what they could be with what we had at home? (The conversation went like this actually, "We don't have money for costumes so if you want to dress up, you better find something of your own.)

My oldest son, Professor X, is just like me. Forget the easy costume, a football jersey with a real NFL helmet. Oh, no. He wanted to be a zombie! So I spent 30 minutes cutting an old shirt to shreds and putting black eyeliner under his eyes. He then used a red marker to make "stitches" all over his arms and face. (which did not come off all the way even though it was washable, doh!) His idea sparked his brother's idea of being a pirate, a zombie pirate! But we couldn't figure out how to make an eye patch. Hmm. Then we remembered the old cowboy boots, and he decided to be a cowboy, a zombie cowboy! Another shredded shirt and some black eyeliner, and he was good to go, with the boots on the wrong feet, of course.

Princess O was more reserved. All her leotards were too small and she was determined not to be a zombie. Always the difficult one getting dressed! So I offered her one of DH's white dress shirts as a lab coat. She added a stethoscope they play with and carried her BABW dog with her. I popped the lenses out of the professor's old glasses for her and put her hair in a bun. Add some heavy make-up and voila! She was a veterinarian.

Three homemade costumes and three immensely happy kids. Good times! Check out the pic I tweeted in the feed to the right.